Beginner Yoga Exercises
If you are new to yoga and looking for good exercises and poses in order to start your practice, I certainly recommend the poses detailed in the following article – Basic Yoga Poses for Beginners. One of the great things about yoga is the wide range of exercises and positions that it offers, so in addition to the poses given in that article, there are many other great beginner’s yoga exercises as well and in this guide I am going to detail one of my favorite for you.
This particular exercise is called Yoga Rowing and it is part of another great beginner’s yoga set called the Morning Wake-Up Series | Yoga Poses for Beginners. In fact it is the first exercise of that set and it is very often the first exercise I begin my yoga routine with as well.
One of the great things about this exercise is that it is an easy motion which can be done by yogis of all levels and of all ages. In addition, this exercise is wonderful to warm-up with and it has the dual advantage of being a strengthening and stretching exercise. If you are a beginner or out of shape and looking to get back into fitness then Yoga Rowing is a perfect place to start.
As with all yoga exercises, breathing is a key component of this movement as well so be sure to pay special attention to that aspect. Also, as you might be doing this exercise first, be sure to start off gently and them extend the range of the movement as you feel you muscles starting to warm-up.
More Yoga Exercises and Poses:
In addition to the 2 beginner yoga sets I pointed out above, you will also will find plenty of yoga poses and exercises in the following 2 free online galleries. There you will find both, starter yoga exercises and poses, as well as more advanced one. Free Hatha Yoga Galleries and Free Kundalini Yoga Exercises.
For Yoga and Meditation Certification Program Students:
For teachers graduating from the Online Yoga Teacher’s Training and Certification Program or Online Meditation Certification Program, Yoga Rowing is a great exercise to do early in your class and my students have always loved this exercise. Also, as this is a relatively easy movement to do, all students are generally able to participate. I use it in both my yoga classes and meditation classes as it really is a great way to get a stretch and get the energy moving.
Yoga Exercise for Beginners | Yoga Rowing
Below please find details of how to practice Beginner’s Yoga Rowing, along with illustrations, step-by-step instructions, benefits and practice tips.
Yoga Rowing Illustrations
Illustration #1: Back Position
Illustrations #2: Front Position
A. How to Beginner’s Yoga Rowing Exercise:
- To begin, sit on the floor with your legs together or slightly apart and your knees straight. Also, extend your arms straight out and have your fingers straight and your thumbs pointing up. As with other Kundalini Yoga exercises your eyes are closed. If this makes you uncomfortable, you can also do this exercise with your eyes open and looking straight ahead.
- Now begin the motion, by leaning back 30 degrees or so as I have shown in Illustration #1 above. Inhale deeply as you lean back.
- Next in a smooth motion rock forward coming towards your toes. This is shown in Illustration #2. It is ok if you knees bend slightly as you come forward. Beginners should be careful not to stretch too far. Just forward enough to get a gentle stretch of the hamstrings and lower back. Exhale as you come forward.
- Now inhaling again and rock back. And continue the motion back and forth at a moderate pace. Lose yourself to the rhythm.
- Soon you should start to feel this exercise working on your abs and you should also feel it in your shoulders. This means it is starting to work, keep going :-).
B. How Long To Do This For:
- Beginners might not be able to do more than 15 or 30 seconds and that is perfectly ok. Just take a break and start again. Try to build up to 1 minute and from there build up to 3 minutes. If you really love this exercise, feel free to keep going for even longer. There are no bad affects and it will just make you stronger and fitter :-).
C. Beginner Yoga Rowing Benefits:
- Good for stretching the hamstrings and calves.
- Builds core strength and helps tone and firm the stomach.
- Develops your shoulders and strengthens the deltoid muscle group.
- Helps stretch the lower back.
- Opens up the solar plexus and frees the body.
- Improves respiration and gets the energy going.
D. Practice Tips for Beginners:
- Often some parts of your body are not as strong as others, so if you find your shoulders tiring before your abs, you can lower your arms, while continuing to do the exercise. If the abs are tiring you can limit the motion and continue on.
- Once you finish the exercise a great addition is to reach forward and grab your toes while keeping your knees straight. If you can’t reach your toes, grab your legs as far down as you can. Then inhale completely, hold your breath and apply root lock. Then exhale and inhale again and apply root lock. Do this 3 times. It is a great finish to this wonderful exercise.
- Don’t forget to do the breathing along with the motion.
PS: If you enjoy this exercise or any other exercise on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please do share them with your friends. I appreciate your support.